General FAQ

Q: Given the hazards associated with COVID-19, are you still planning to hold Networks 2021?

A: After following the news and reviewing local meeting restrictions, our steering committee made the regretful, but necessary, decision to move to an all-virtual conference. Our decision not to pursue a hybrid format is based on potential attendees’ low interest in an in-person conference and the uncertainty surrounding travel and gathering conditions in the next few months. Because of this format change, however. we will be able to substantially lower our registration fees and offer hour flexibility to international participants. We are expanding our virtual participation hours and offerings to be more friendly to global participation.

Q: Now that you have moved virtual, what will the hours of this conference be? How will you accomodate participants in all time zones?

A: The networks research community is global and there are participants in this conference who will be signing in from all over the globe. We have attempted to set up time blocks throughout the day that allow for participation during waking hours for as many participants as possible. Listed below are the time blocks we will be using throughout the six-day main conference.

First block: 08:00-11:00 New York/14:00-17:00 Rome/20:00-23:00 Shanghai
Second block: 11:00-14:00 New York/17:00-20:00 Rome/23:00-02:00 Shanghai
Third block: 19:00-22:00 New York/01:00-04:00 Rome/07:00-10:00 Shanghai

If you would like to compare, please visit this website.

In terms of your own speaking slot, - if you are an speaker or poster presenter in one of our main conference session, you will receive a link asking you to tell us what days and times in the week of July 5 you are strictly unavailable to speak. We will do our best to work with all speakers, but we do ask your patience, as we have over 1,000 presenters to accomodate.

However, there is truly no perfect time, so we realize some participants will be signing in early in the morning or late at night. For this reason, activities in the main conference (and some in the preconference) will be recorded and made available for participants to review at their own pace within the Whova conferencing system. You will also have the option (and we strongly encourage you) to prerecord your presentation and upload it before the conference begins. While you will still need to be present for question and answer, we hope a prerecorded talk can take some of the pressure off you if the hours are not the best for you personally.

Hours and dates for preconference satellites and workshops were decided by the organizers and can be found here.

Q: Why have a joint meeting?

A: Each year, these two vibrant meetings feature considerable networks research. While there is overlap, there is also distinct communities that have unique strengths and insights. We hope the joint conference allows researchers from each community to encounter the full range of methods, models, and findings they might not have otherwise seen. We hope it is an exciting and engaging opportunity for attendees of each meeting to interact with researchers across communities and become the brokers between these communities.

Q: How will this conference be different than a Sunbelt or a NetSci?

A: First, let’s talk about the ways in which these meetings will look the same: there will be preconference workshops in the Sunbelt tradition, and there will be satellites in the NetSci tradition. There will be a “main conference” that will feature parallel session talks, plenary speakers, and a poster event. Interested speakers were invited to submit abstracts of one page.

Now, to the differences: probably the most obvious difference will be the size. We initially anticipated between 1200 and 1600 participants, but this could vary. Because our steering committee has commited to a maximum of eight concurrent parallel sessions (more than NetSci, fewer than Sunbelt), we will have about 800 15-minute parallel session speaking slots.

The next difference will be the communities of scholarship that those participants represent - everything from digital humanists to neurosciences to epidemiologists to public health to sociology to physics. The steering committee and program committee (you can be a part of it!) will work hard to make sure that we aren’t running two meetings in parallel with one another, but that sessions feature speakers from both communities and intentionally mix approaches and traditions.

Finally, the conference will expand the "preconference" activity window from two days to two weeks, and there will be over 40 separate satellites, workshops, panels, and other events participants can join from June 21-July 2. There will not be a School in the NetSci tradition this year - in lieu, we encourage you to take a look at the many didactic workshops being offered over the preconference period.

Q: What kind of presentation opportunities will be available at Networks 2021?

A: Very similar to both NetSci and Sunbelt, there will be opportunities for parallel session talks and posters. There will also be a number of invited plenary speakers. In the NetSci tradition, there will also be lightning talk opportunities. There will be a full panel of satellite meetings, which are part of the NetSci tradition. Satellite meetings are mini-meetings organized around specific topics and areas of networks research.

Q: I usually attend Sunbelt. Can I register for a “NetSci” satellite? I usually attend a NetSci, can I sign up for a “Sunbelt” workshop?

A: Yes, and we highly encourage it! We think both of these preconference activities are exciting parts of their respective meetings and we believe many people will find new communities and colleagues by exploring these events.

Q: Are there plans to make this joint conference a regularly occurring event?

A: No, not at this time. The two associations may decide to repeat this in the future when we can meet again safely and in person. But at this time, we are only planning a single, one-time event. All the more reason to try it out!

Q: How can I stay informed about deadlines and what is happening with this meeting?

A: We’re so glad you asked! Sign up here for an announcement list. We will send you periodic updates as we release more pertinent information, and you can easily unsubscribe at any time. You may also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Finally, you can email us at if you have any questions.

Q: How much will this cost? When will you release registration fees?

A: Registration information is now posted at

Q: Will this conference have a proceedings track?

A: We do not have any plans for a proceedings track.